Gordon Myers

Articles on Life, Truth, Love, Computers, and Music

Don't go down with the ship!

In the 27th chapter of Acts, there's a brilliant gem of a story about the apostle Paul, as he was being transported as a prisoner on a Roman ship ultimately headed for Italy. The final destination was quite a distance to travel, so they had to stop at several ports along the way. At one of these stops (on the island of Crete), Paul heard an intuition from God telling him it was not safe to continue their journey right then, and so he counseled his Roman captors of this. But they ignored his warning, and set sail anyway.

Shortly thereafter, just as Paul had predicted, they encountered a huge storm called a nor'easter that was going to run the ship aground. And in the midst of the storm, Paul received another intuition from God -- which we can apply to our lives today. Here's what he said to the soldiers, sailors, and fellow prisoners:

Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss. But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down.

How often are we determined that we are going to get to our destination -- whether that's a certain career, or a marriage, or family event -- on our own schedule, no matter what, even though we may have seen the warning signs? We want it to be this ship, right now.

On the other hand, I'm not saying you should always jump ship at the first sign of trouble. Sometimes we need to have a little more faith. But when it's gotten to the point that warning signs have grown into a painful storm, perhaps it's time to take an honest look at the situation, and start listening for God's voice over our own desires.

Even as the ship is going down, it can be tempting to think "but the captain always goes down with the ship!" as if that sentiment makes us more honorable than the other passengers. The thing is: you're not the captain! And you'll never be.

So let go of the wreckage and start swimming back to shore. That isn't selfish. Let God guide you back to still waters. And don't try to use other passengers as personal life preservers, either! You have to let them swim, too. Remember God's promise: "none of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down." Almighty Love is watching over you, as well as anyone else who was aboard that ship.

Whatever ship may have just crashed was not your final journey. Next time, you'll be more able and determined to listen to the real Captain, and to set sail on His schedule. He will get you where you need to be. He's already doing so right now.

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